CDM got to check out Sasha with his new MAVEN controller (see Music Thing's story) as he played his monthly residency at Crobar here in New York. Forget vinyl — Sasha's setup is all-digital:

  • Ableton Live
  • Apple iMac G5 (looked like 17", but that was after a couple of vodkas)
  • MAVEN custom controller (built just for Sasha)

With this setup, he's able to remix his work live as he goes, with
quick access to Live's cross-fader, levels, and effects. His basic
technique is still that of a DJ — his Live set is usually pretty
sparse — but think DJ with a twist. Definitely digitally virtuostic.

And this should be of even more interest to non-DJs; it demonstrates
how adding physical control can optimize working in Live for more
active remixing. That's huge deal for those of us improvising whole
musical sets with live instruments onstage. Sasha's first out of the
gate with this expensive custom job, but with new cheaper, plastic
options for us poorer folks, you can bet this is a trend that will
spread fast. I'm on the slate to chat with Sasha when he's back in NYC;
stay tuned.

  • Guest

    until someone prove me i'm wrong ,this controler is based on the MIDIbox hardware platform ,a free DIY project ,non-commercial and under GNU licence.
    It's really important to note this fact .
    some link :
    the last link point to a topic about the MAVEN on the MIDIbox forum

  • admin

    I'll post some information on the MIDIbox platform, and I think this may be the case that this is the basis for the Maven, though it's not publicly confirmed.

    Thanks for the heads-up.


  • Guest

    thats cool and all… but thats not DJ'n anymore. Thats laying tracks down in a sequencer and then tweaking it with FX.. Would be cool if he would still use the classic DJ tool… a 12 inch!!!

  • Guest

    Hawtin has been using a customised Allen & Heath Xone (known as Ctrl:92) to control Ableton Live for … fookin' ages.

  • Guest

    In my opinion, times are chainging. The opportunity is there for the DJ to elevate his game by using technology to better his mixing/remixing, etc.

    Why not? Why does it have to be vinyl to be legit?

  • Guest

    True. I know Sasha can beatmatch two records together so if he chooses not to, my opinion of him is not lowered one bit. I’d much rather come to a show and get something new and fresh because he chose to use Ableton live and remix on the fly instead of mixing together two 12″, one after another.

  • Guest

    It may seem very nerve racking for all the wanna bee Dj's out there who like myself have spent enormous amounts of money buying 12's for years and then along comes Sasha with his almost unique idea of having the Maven controller, and do away with his vinyl and CD's 'what is the future of vinyl' i hear you think, well not every Dj on the planet likes the whole digital thing, and if this would be the case how many labels are going to loose out on sales. if you look at DJ's across the world, are using both CD's and Vinyl, CD's were supposed to replace the whole vinyl platform, BUT CAN YOU REPLACE THE SOUND, FEEL, THE LOOK AND THE SHOWMANSHIP that goes with vinyl. But his is not about loosing sight of vinyl this is about the Living Legend named Sasha. HE YES HE has always put me in a trance when ive listened to him live or not. Any haters of this man or his music are jealous wannabees or ignorant and uneducated fools. When sasha plays his live set (whatever platform)he is not trying to impress you with his mixing skills or music, he just wants to ignite the danefloor by taking people on a journey taps into the mind and takes you further than anyone I have heard. His passion for being cutting edge has always been at the front of his mind, so him using another platform is just logical progression FOR HIM. I welcome anything he does he is undoubtedly the only man to break so many boundries and this yet another one he is breaking. Good luck to him and all DJ's who work hard

  • Guest

    :grin , think of it this way, dance music has the power to enlighten as well as entertain. All the great mystics have said that there are many ways to expand your consciousness and taste bliss. It's about attaining the true ecstasy, not about how you get there. vinyl/ tech/ cd/ maven/ it's all good, if it takes you higher.

  • Guest

    We are living in a technoligical age. An age were everyday we create and invent tools to make things more efficient. Its simply a new tool for djs to utilize. I agree with what was said above, you will always have the 'vinyl purists' out there to keep that aspect of the trade alive, but I always welcome new developmetns that will allow me to further my creative abilities and separate me from the sea of djs out there.
    -Kenneth L

  • Guest

    πŸ™‚ I really think Sasha like many others is an extraordinary dj, but the "slightly" difference is that he can do all platforms like a real master, how many guys you know can do the same? believe he´s the one, he´s Sasha

  • Guest

    I´m impressed he can do such things,not just vynils and cd´s he can go further to experiment and to make us feel in a higher ground live or not, he only wants to create and contribute to world class music, i think he is one of the best (alongside Zabiela, Cattaneo and Digweed ) and that´s what matters πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

  • Guest

    πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ What he does is just amazing

  • Guest

    La verdad que Sasha utilice lo que utilice sigue siendo una pistola y si resulta que falla el Maven pues sin problemas toca cd´s o vyniles en donde lo pongas, y como un verdadero cabrón que es…el mejor……. y resulta que si….tambien puede con lo nuevo, tu puedes?

  • Guest

    πŸ™‚ I really think Sasha like many others is an extraordinary dj, but the “slightly” difference is that he can do all platforms like a real master, how many guys you know can do the same? believe heΓƒβ€šΓ‚Β΄s the one, heΓƒβ€šΓ‚Β΄s Sasha

  • Guest

    :zzz :zzz :zzz :zzz :zzz :zzz :zzz :zzz :zzz :zzz :zzz :zzz :zzz :zzz

  • Guest

    whoops didn't mean to do that… what sasha does is exactly the opposite of :zzz

    lol… i saw him live at crobar awhile back… in fact i flew to NY from canada just to see him in action with that Maven device

    all i can say is WOW!!!

  • Guest

    i saw the 'man-like' sasha play with mabel recently. it was shit. the problem with ableton djing is it gives too much power to people who dont deserve it.

    djs (sasha included) aren't usually good at making music, and listening to him butcher the arrangement of tracks i quite liked was painful. not to mention him 'making tracks better' by layering unneccessary stupid accapellas, or making amateur breakdowns out of too many cheap sounding fx.

    i'm not anti technology – traktor and cdjs are great, as are proper ableton live sets. and give hawtin all the technology he wants, because he knows how to use it..

    but please someone smash mabel up and make sasha eat every component while reciting 'i am not an innovator, i am a sad old man.'

  • Guest

    If he markets this and it is based on mbox he wants shooting. :upset

  • Guest

    anyone who can count to 16 can beatmatch.
    sure you need to read the crowd and construct a set.
    but it's basically like watching a band lip sync.
    If you have been spinning records for a whila nd are interested in production, but not ready to do a live PA, ableton is a very exciting prospect.

  • psilocyberpunk

    freakin cool even us hicks in South Dakota are surely in to this thing. Propellerheads and Sasha are the most progressive sounds out there.

  • me

    hes only a dj at the end of the day kids, its not that hard to beat match two records when you have heard the two records over n over, ffs, its not about who's dj'n anyway its about the buzz, the craic, personally, i couldnt care less if its sasha, carl cox, fatboy slim or tony fcukin blair on the decks, whether its vinyl, cds, mp3, cassette tapes or reel to reel, who gives a fcuk, go get a life you fcukin sad acts!!!

  • plut0man

    I think it's more about what comes out of the speaker than the technology itself. If you can mix as well on a set of SL-1200s or CDJ1000s as you can on ableton and a midi controller – then I don't see why you should be ripped on for it.

    Anyhow – if there are guys like Holden, Holden and Hybrid (3 h's haha) doing good things with ableton in a live set then I don't see why there should be any complaint against the technology.

    And yes, I think Sasha should stick to what he's good at instead of going on like the Maven is god's gift to mankind's survival.

  • Alex

    Well, I'm an unknown, insignificant music lover, also a musician that happens to love digital music, specially tribal house and I have recently performed as a DJ, invited to put some tracks on a big birthday party of some friends of mine (I didn't make a penny, this is something I do as a hobby but I tryy to do it as professionally as I can). My setup? a mac laptop, a MIDI contoller/audio intefrace and Live 5 plus 3 hours of good quality MP3 tunes bought from a respectable online music store. There was another DJ at the party using Pioneer hardware and many CDs. My point is that each of us had a different style and different approach but it didn't matter in the end what were we using or how, people were dancing and enjoying every minute of it. I manage to seamlessly mix all my tracks and was happy for the night.

  • Abletonian

    Nothing too exciting about what he's using. All he's really doing is using the Maven as a custom DJ mixer and remixing a little — nothing more. Now, if he started doing live looping (I'm talking voice, instruments) and tweaking that shit out, I might give him a little bit more credit for using Ableton — shit's a lot more powerful than what this cat's doing with it — no offense to all you 'SASHA!' fans… πŸ˜‰

  • London Water

    Sasha is far from just a dj, anyone who loves to blend songs together is eventually gonna get bored with it. If your someone like sasha its gonna take longer for you to get bored because you got thousands of people who show up every time you play some beats. If you love to blend then eventually you are gonna want to produce, and really thats what its all about.remixing on the fly is def. cool too but not as sweet as putting a new track out on the market. mixing is how you get to play the songs you've made, and it does not matter what platform you use its all mixing!. I made my first song the other day, you can check it out on goto music then type in London Water the track is called Sheba's Footsteps and im def. very proud of it and plan on making many more

  • I am currently using Pioneer's DJM-800 to dj with LIVE 6. It's very stable together! πŸ™‚

    But I still have wet dreams about the Maven beauty… LOL!

    "Does Sasha have a back up to his back up Maven? Can I have it?"

  • I watched to guys use Ableton in two nights ago in Austin Texas. BASSNECTAR was an absolute joy to watch DJ. I heard him play two of tracks i own from vinyl and CD and he remixed em, added bass and depth. He had the crowd pissing themselves. He could throw in old 20's style song and layer it with a fat break sound and then move to D&B five minutes later. I tried out Ableton and was mixing a snoop vocal with a breakbeat, ambient and house tune and then threw in some female vocals. Awesome!!! I'm switching.

  • andrew

    When can we buy this mixer!!! I have a dedicated midi mixer, but I want somthing like the one above!!!

    any ideas (i have the behringer BCD2000)

  • You say this isn't DJing but it's really a personal preference. I use Ableton Live 6 w/ an Evolution controller for my live mixes. I remix like hell live, removing the 4 on the floor beats from various dance genres (Goa and the more beautiful trance goes well w/ it) and playing it alongside some of my break loops, then mixing them live and messing w/ the beats on the fly. I don't beat match, but honestly very few can match the beats I'm pumping out.

  • Vesuvius

    If there wasn't any progress in making music, we'd still be hitting all kinds of things..

  • Vesuvius

    oh, another thing.. if god is a dj..he just died.

  • Guest

    I'm pretty sure the Maven controller was devised by M-Audio, Ableton and requirements from Sasha. It looks to have a built in audio interface too, shame there aren't any upclose (so you could clearly read the silk screen) pics.

    I here he doesn't let the press or people not with him too close to it.

  • sashas dad

    His ableton sets are crap dull & boring imo.

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  • Im still a old fashioned dj, still can't accept ableton as part of my djing live set's things.

    But no doubt, what was sasha has done was a huge breakthrough by him. i mean he has changed his sounds, changed the gears etc, whether we like it or not.

    Btw, i've heared that Maven was handcrafted from allen & heath..was it true?

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  • someone recreated the Maven… from scratch.Β Β

  • someone recreated the Maven… from scratch.Β Β

  • someone recreated the Maven… from scratch.Β Β

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